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Polish media bill introduced

Katarzyna Grynienko 2009-04-26

Poland's hotly debated new media bill, which could shift public broadcasting financing from TV households to the government budgert, had its first reading at the Polish Sejm (parliament) on April 22.

The new bill's most significant impact would be the cancellation of TV and radio fees, with financing for public broadcasting moved to the Public Mission Fund. The money would be distributed by National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT, www.krritv.gov.pl), enlarged to seven members and overseen by a program committee of 15 media professionals. The public mission programs are to be produced by both public and private broadcasters, who would receive a special two-year license from KRRIT.

A web service devoted to informing the public about the new project www.ustawamedialna.pl, notes that prior the first parliament reading, the bill was presented to film professionals at a special Sejm Culture Board session. According to a Polish Radio report, the bill was strongly criticized for connecting media with politics. This conservative PIS (Law and Justice) party voted against the project. Supporters stipulated that new public media financing should be created in accordance with EU directives, in order to avoid compliancy problems Poland has faced in the past.

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